The Inside Rail

Two assistant coaches – Cubs hats, shirts, sunflower seeds sailing – leaned on the chain link fence, fingers clutched through the mesh as kid-pitch rookie league limped through the fifth inning, or the sixth, could have been the 20th for all I know at Franklin Park Field #3 Thursday night.

“So you do horse racing for a living or a hobby?”

I laughed.

“Sometimes it feels like both. Sometimes it feels like neither.”

I slid two pieces of folded paper, the races I was watching Thursday, back into my back pocket – I was more than halfway through a pick 5 at Presque Isle – and watched Owen strike out a waddling Pirate with a choppy swing.

“Atta boy, Owen, great pitch,” I offered, knowing I don’t know anything about baseball, I add team spirit.

“What do you do for a living?” I asked, knowing that’s what you’re meant to do in conversation, you know, ask about the other person’s life.

He lost me at government contract, DOD, data collection, systems, satellites…

“Boring,” he finished.

Nothing boring about horse racing.

• Ebullience couldn’t pull off the Willowdale-Delaware double, winding up sixth. Rough trip, but ultimately dull.

No runners today. Or baseball.